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Overall Rating

Awesome: 5.26%
Worth A Look: 15.79%
Average: 18.42%
Pretty Bad: 15.79%
Total Crap44.74%

4 reviews, 14 user ratings

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Let's Go to Prison
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by William Goss

"Bitches Ain't Shit"
2 stars

The second of this weekend’s releases to clumsily adapt non-fiction novels into feature-length movies – in this case, Jim Hogshire’s 1994 how-to guide, “You Are Going To Prison” – 'Let’s Go To Prison' is as much about packing fudge as the other film is about packing meat. What’s even more pitiful is how precious few laughs this farce actually manages to pack in otherwise.

Before chronic criminal John Lyshitski (Dax Shepard) can take revenge on the judge responsible for keeping him behind bars for most of his life, the judge kicks the bucket, and before John can proceed to take it out on his son, Nelson Biederman IV (Will Arnett), John unwittingly gets Nelson thrown in prison and voluntary returns himself to ensure that Nelson has the most miserable sentence possible.

Shepard (Employee of the Month, Without a Paddle) has exactly one facial expression at his disposal, leaving his smug narration to establish Lyshitski’s impassive temperament. Arnett only provides reason #67 to resurrect “Arrested Development” (#68 comes out this Wednesday), as he blends GOB’s aloof nature with the white-collar arrogance of his role in RV to adequate effect, and he can certainly act petrified to Chi McBride’s perverse when Nelson becomes the bitch du jour for Barry (McBride, breaking out of his mentor-like mold with eerie efficacy). As “the kind of dickhead that gives Nazis a bad name,” Michael Shannon (World Trade Center) easily applies his ever-intimidating presence as the white supremacist leader on whose bad side Nelson soon is, and the head security guard frequently taking bets on the yuppie’s survival, David Koechner manages to be the right kind of crass for once, but finds himself barely tapped (where, in any other movie, there tends to be too much of the guy).

Director Bob Odenkirk (frequent partner of David Cross across screens big and small) and writers Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Michael Patrick Jann (the first two are responsible for the cinematic gems of Herbie: Fully Loaded and The Pacifier; all three hail from sketch comedy troupe The State) string together a mess of juvenile gags, mostly sexual and scatological in nature, rarely genuinely comical, and probably left over from their previous work on “The State,” “Reno 911!” or “Mr. Show”. Apothecary? Love shack? What kind of penitentiary is this? For that matter, what kind of comedy is this: A smug commentary on the judicial system? A revenge romp? A sodomy soap opera? Odenkirk and company are never quite sure, and boy, does their indecision show, all the way to the telegraphed-yet-still-dodgy conclusion. As unfair as it is to compare the proceedings to “Arrested Development” yet again, there is an episode with a remarkably similar arc that crams more laughs in twenty-two minutes than Prison does in nearly ninety.

In a meager role as the warden, Dylan Baker seems equally unsure of what to do with himself. In the earlier of his two scenes, he claims to have “a notoriously dry sense of humor,” yet Odenkirk seemingly wanted to sneak in an autobiographical touch to excuse the scarcity of actual humor. 'Let’s Go To Prison' wasn’t screened for press, not because it’s a prison comedy that dwells on anal rape for the majority of its jokes, but because it’s a considerably laughless, constantly misguided, and thoroughly half-assed one.

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originally posted: 11/19/06 04:17:08
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User Comments

5/14/12 Monday Morning Loosen's pretty funny. 4 stars
12/02/10 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Bought the dvd cause odenkirk directed it. 4 stars
7/18/07 jose this movie made me want to hang myself in my closet. thanks. 1 stars
11/23/06 jordan if you think that of will arnett, you most likely havent seen arrested development 1 stars
11/23/06 Tiffany Losco This was funny. Kinda strange, 4 stars
11/22/06 M Where did Dax Sherpard come from? He should go back. 1 stars
11/21/06 Will It's hard to make an original comedy film, but any idiot can give that film a bad review. 4 stars
11/20/06 michael dont let the title scare you away 4 stars
11/20/06 vALENTINE Gabaldon I nominate it for the worst movie of the year 1 stars
11/20/06 Louis Johnson Worth going to see.. 4 stars
11/19/06 Joe Dunkerley This is an instant classic, hilarious! 5 stars
11/19/06 jill i think will arnett IS a comedian, and a damn funny one too. 3 stars
11/19/06 Digger Let's not... 1 stars
11/19/06 ken kennedy there is NOT ONE JOKE ABOUT FECES IN THE WHOLE MOVIE... I LOVED IT! 5 stars
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  17-Nov-2006 (R)
  DVD: 06-Mar-2007



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